Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland
Registers OAR 11, 12, 13 1253-1564
Auteur : William H. TeBrake




The material in 'Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland, Registers OAR 11, 12, 13: 1253-1564' is based on complete transcriptions of three registers found in the Oud Archief Rijnland (OAR), the oldest section of the archives of the Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland (Rijnland Water Board) in Leiden.* These volumes, identified as OAR11, OAR12, and OAR13, contain rules, permissions, orders, verdicts, settlements, contract specifications, charters, and more, that were developed and used by the hoogheemraden or trustees of Rijnland in the exercise of their duties during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Together with the charters and the bestuursregisters or administrative registers (OAR14-17)**, the registers published here represent a significant amount of material relevant to the earliest history of one of the oldest and largest water boards in the Netherlands. There were 323 separate entries in OAR11, 540 in OAR12, and 96 in OAR13, for a total of 959 entries.

The oldest of the three volumes in question is OAR11, used from 1434 to the end of 1449. However, all records in OAR11 dating from 1434 or before were copied from an older, missing register known as the 'Heemraetsbouck,' while those dating from 1434 to 1449 were entered as new actions were taken by the Rijnland trustees. When OAR11 became filled up in late 1449, a new register, OAR12, was begun by first copying 282 keuren, consenten, and other items of continuing importance from OAR11 into the new register, but now organized according to type of action and numbered by type. In early 1450, OAR12 became the new 'current' register, and 258 new items were added to it during the second half of the fifteenth and intermittently into the sixteenth century, though only one record dated from after 1533. OAR13 apparently was used alongside OAR12 during the 1450s (its latest entry dated from 1456) and contains mostly copies of material from the other two registers, although it does contain 19 items found in it alone.

Rijnland OAR 12

Because there was so much duplication within this material, I decided early on to divide the contents of the three volumes into records, one record for each distinct item, regardless of the number of copies. In this fashion, I was able to isolate 574 discrete items from the 959 entries in the three registers. I began with the oldest first, thus the first 321 records in this database came from OAR11 entered in the order in which they appeared, even though most of these later were copied into OAR 12 in a different order. In other words, OAR11 was the primary source for the first 321 records while OAR12 (and OAR13) was secondary. Next, I entered the remaining items in OAR12 (those not found in OAR11) in the order found there. For these, OAR12 was primary and OAR13 was secondary. The last 19 records came from OAR13 only. The manner by which I assembled this database has implications for proper scholarly citation: the correct, primary citation will always be the first one listed in the 'Record Details' view. That is the one for which the spelling will be correct, for example. If there is more than a spelling difference between various copies of a record, that will be noted in the notes field. There is an additional point that should be kept in mind: the numbers in brackets at the beginning of the text field of most records come from OAR12 (a number of '[000]' means it was one of the very few unnumbered items in OAR12).

This project began more than three decades ago as an attempt to identify and eventually analyze the keuren (rules or bylaws) that lay at the heart of Rijnland's medieval activities. From the very beginning, Rijnland was a rule-based institution, and many of its keuren already were quite old by the time these volumes came into use. Besides a series of founding and defining charters, establishing the outlines of Rijnland's authority and responsibilities, the keuren were the water board's most important legacy. They lay at the core of what the hoogheemraden did: they sat as judges as often as not, issuing rulings that eventually could lead to new, revised, or canceled keuren. During a number of visits to the archives during the 1970s and early 1980s, I was able to transcribe most of the 227 keuren found here. When I learned that microfiche copies of the oldest Rijnland material had been deposited in the Library of the University of California, Berkeley, and that I could borrow them, I decided to include all the material in the three registers in my project. By 1990, I had finished the transcriptions and, over the next ten years, the transcriptions were gradually edited, corrected against originals in Leiden, equipped with keywords, and finally transformed into an indexed textbase. About four years ago, I began consolidating the 959 items into the 574 records found here and adding the English summaries and explanatory notes.*** In the end, the keuren remain the most significant group: 227, nearly 40 percent of the total published here, are keuren.
For a brief overview of the composition of the Oud Archief Rijnland, see Sloof (1999), pp. vii-xxiv -- see full citation in the bibliography.

Summaries of the bestuursregisters were published in Sloof (1999).

The completion of this project was greatly facilitated by the Orbis text indexing and Ibid-Plus database modules integrated into the
Notabene word processing program.
William H. TeBrake
University of Maine (USA) June 2006